April’s full Moon rises on Sunday, April 17, and reaches peak illumination at 5:57 a.m. AEST. Lifehack: Enjoy the Pink Moon’s peak illumination while listening to Nick Drake’s seminal, bittersweet 1972 album Pink Moon — there are way worse things you could be doing at 3 a.m. in the springtime.
Why is April’s full moon called the “Pink Moon”?
Even though it’s called the “Pink Moon,” April’s full moon does not appear pink (a rip-off, if you ask me.) According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, its name refers to the early spring bloom of pink wildflowers called creeping phlox that appear at this time of year around the Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia.
April’s moon and Easter and Passover
April’s full moon is called the Paschal Moon in the West. In the Jewish and Christian faiths, the full moon after the spring equinox determines the dates of both Easter and Passover. Passover this year is celebrated between April 15 and April 23, with the seder set for April 15 and 16 to correspond with the full moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full Moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox. This year, that’s April 17, so get your church shoes ready.
Other names for April’s full Moon
Most commonly used moon monikers come from indigenous Americans, and they’re actually the names of the entire month instead of the moon. The Dakota call April “Moon When the Streams Are Again Navigable;” the Lakota call it “Moon When the Ducks Come Back;” and it’s “Frog Moon” to the Cree. But my favourite name for April comes from the Anishinaabe: They call it the “Sucker Moon,” but not because you’re a sucker if you think it’s going to look pink. The Anishinaabe are referencing the lowly suckerfish, honouring its thankless job of purifying the rivers, lakes, and streams and providing food after winter. Thanks, bottom-feeders!
A random, awesome moon fact
Moon rocks are incredibly valuable; they’re worth about $130 million per 450g. The 382 kg of lunar samples borough back by U.S. Apollo missions are considered national treasures and are not owned by individuals. But in the early 1970s, presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford gifted small lunar samples taken during the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 missions to 270 nations and U.S. states. Around 159 of these Goodwill Rocks are currently unaccounted for. Some were lost. Some were stolen. Some were simply thrown away.